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How long should you rest between training sessions?

January, 2021

Finding out how long you should rest between training sessions is a pretty common question for many people.

After all, exercising too strenuously and too often can lead to complications. This can include not giving your body enough time to recover and it can result in a higher chance of picking up an injury.

There isn’t a simple, ‘one size fits all’ answer to this. Hency why I’ve written this blog post!

How long you leave it between training sessions depends on a few factors including the goal that you are looking to achieve.

So, let’s look at how the time you rest between training sessions can differ.

You want to lose weight

Using a personal trainer to shift some extra weight can help you to achieve some great results.

The key to weight loss is to achieve what is known as a ‘calorie deficit’, Essentially you want to burn off more calories than you take in. While many fitness regimes have at least a 24 hour break between sessions, this isn’t completely necessary for weight loss.

As long as you have a training program that is adapted to this specific goal and factors in recovery, you can really train 4 or even 5 times per week. This type of training program shouldn’t be fully focused on high intensity exercises and should have a combination of both intense and more relaxed training sessions.

You want to gain muscle

If your goal is to gain muscle, you will need to approach not only the exercises and training you do a bit differently, but also your recovery time too.

Gaining muscle requires a high degree of strength training.

So, the recovery time between sessions should be between 24-48 hours.

This not only gives your muscles enough time to recover properly for maximum results but it also cuts down on the likelihood of picking up any injuries.

You have a varied training program

If you don’t particularly have one focus but rather are embarking on a varied fitness regime that targets different muscles, your recovery time will be slightly different.

It is still recommended that you leave at least 24 hours (and even up to 48 hours) of rest for each muscle group.

So, if you are doing leg workouts on Monday, focus on your upper body on Tuesday and then back to your lower body again on Wednesday.

This ensures you can still train frequently throughout the week but you have breaks in between for each muscle group.

Ensuring adequate rest between training sessions

The amount of rest you need does depend on what you are trying to achieve.

A good rule of thumb is 24 hours but this does depend on what you are doing.

Remember, resting doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all. You might need to rest your upper body muscles for 24 hours but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a moderate walk or work on your lower body.

Ensuring that your body and your muscles get adequate rest between sessions helps them to recover, cuts down on injuries and will allow you to achieve the best results.

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